A former lord mayor of Cork, Ireland's bustling southern metropolis, is expected to table a controversial motion before the City Hall next month calling for the outlawing of burkas, the full body cloak worn by some Muslim women, as well, incredibly, as hoodies.
Former lord mayor Joe O'Callaghan, of Fine Gael, said that it was "high time" that Ireland adopted anti-burka measures, citing Belgium and France as two countries that had recently enacted such law.
The French ban has thusfar proved enormously popular with the French public, according to one writer
with the Telegraph
, despite the large-scale protests that waved across France before its passage onto the statue book.
O'Callaghan said that the burqa was "an affront to women," and argued that it could have no place in society "in this day and age".
Ali Selim of the Islamic Cultural Center of Ireland, reacting to the news, decried the possible ban, which would likely have local rather than national effect, as "unnecessary".
Selim told the Irish Times
that he thought the measures were incompatible with modern democracy, and questioned what kind of foresight had gone into the measure being tabled.
"Ireland is a society with a good understanding of religion," he told the paper of record, adding that "we should aim to unite on a friendly ground, not to cause conflict among members of the same society.
The ex lord mayor, however, likened wearing the burqa to being a like "[wearing] what looks like a curtain all day."
.. and hoodies!
Somewhat incredibly, though, the contemplated ban also includes hoodies!
The reasoning is that they are the apparel of choice for looters, such as those that took part in the recent London riots.
Although O'Callaghan somewhat comically conceded that "in rain, they can be useful", he thought that the greater good called for their ban.
Really, no hoodies!?
I can understand the possible burka ban because -- at least according to this blogger's understanding of Islamic law, or Shaaria -- it is not a mandatory part of a Muslim woman's dress.
Unlike a possible ban on turbans for Sikhs or skullcaps for Jews, there's no real question of compromising freedom of religion.
Realistically, however, there's very little chance that the hoodie ban will pass the City Council, let alone be considered beyond the Rebel County, but the fact that a Councillor saw fit to table the idea makes you wonder who we're electing to run our cities -- and what kind of a nanny State Ireland is becoming.